If you were at the Denver Coliseum Saturday night, you witnessed something special.
Not because the Lewis-Palmer volleyball team won its fourth state championship since 2013 - but it was how they did it.
The Rangers faced No. 2 Valor Christian - arguably their toughest opponent of the season in the biggest match of the year.
And they didn’t disappoint.
Prior to the state final, Lewis-Palmer had breezed through an undefeated regular season, losing just five sets along the way. But Saturday the Eagles put up a fight that the Rangers won't forget anytime soon.
Valor Christian lived up to its No. 2 ranking and held early leads in each set, but if there’s one thing Lewis-Palmer is excellent at - besides, you know, winning state championships - it’s staying calm under pressure.
And even with the state title within reach, the Rangers remained composed when Valor sent the final set into extra points.
Lewis-Palmer led 24-22 in the third when the Eagles forced one of the most incredible volleyball battles I’ve ever seen. Don’t believe me? I’ve broken down each point - see for yourself.
24-22: Lewis-Palmer kill by Taylor Buckley
24-23: Valor Christian kill by Caroline Reinkensmeyer
24-24: Valor Christian kill by Courtney Lane
24-25: Lewis-Palmer hitting error
25-25: Valor Christian hitting error
25-26: Lewis-Palmer error
26-26: Lewis-Palmer kill by Riley Putnicki
27-26: Lewis-Palmer, Gianna Bartalo ace
27-27: Valor Christian kill by Courtney Lane
28-27: Lewis-Palmer kill by Riley Putnicki
28-28: Valor Christian block by Courtney Lane, Anna Davis
28-29: Valor Christian kill by Ashley Larson
29-29: Lewis-Palmer block by Kessandra Krutsinger, Jadie DeLange
29-30: Lewis-Palmer hitting error
30-30: Lewis-Palmer kill by Kessandra Krutsinger
31-30: Valor Christian hitting error
31-31: Valor Christian point
32-31: Valor Christian error
32-32: Lewis-Palmer blocking error
33-32: Lewis-Palmer kill by Kessandra Krutsinger
33-33: Valor Christian kill by Courtney Lane
34-33: Lewis-Palmer kill by Addie Feek
35-33: Lewis-Palmer, Gianna Bartalo serve, Valor Christian error
With that, Lewis-Palmer earned its 23rd straight-set victory of the year, and capped off a perfect 29-0 season with a second-straight state title.
After the final match of the day concluded, I was chatting with the head of security at the Denver Coliseum about the Rangers' match.
"They gave me a whole new respect for volleyball," he said. "Before tonight I thought volleyball was played in bare feet on a beach somewhere - but man, that was something."
It certainly was.
Thanks for the memories, Lewis-Palmer volleyball.